Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Medical jargon

Interesting brief opinion piece in today's Guardian - This epidemic of medical jargon isn't good for us - Professor Jonathan Wolff discusses the linguistic reasons for a professional jargon and advocates:
To take better care of our health, we need access to clear information. I concede that some specialised technical vocabulary is needed and useful. But many terms seem to be used purely to give medical professionals a spurious sense of precision and authority, while policing the boundaries of the subject; keeping out the riff-raff. If the Chinese, to improve literacy, can simplify their written script, can we not simplify medical terminology to improve health literacy?

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